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Hidden wonders of Florence

by alexasanford Online Now Mar 2, 2013 at 1:30 AM

I'm coming to Florence for 3 days in March. Could you tell me your favorite "cozy" and perhaps hidden places in the city? Cafes, restaurants (not expensive), shops, markets, street corners etc. Thank you!

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11 Answers
  • Kaaskop85's Profile Photo

    Re: Hidden wonders of Florence

    by Kaaskop85 Online Now Mar 2, 2013 at 1:39 AM

    Hi, I've been in Florence last summer for a day. It's a nice city and there is a lot to see. A nice market is the Mercato Market, north of the Medici Chapel. Also in the streets around the Medici Chapel and Mercato Market there is a market on the streets, but mainly with fake products.

    On the square next to Mercato Market there are some places where you can eat cheap. I went to the Fish Pub where you also have free wifi internet. Other nice places to eat are in the small streets between the Piazza del Duomo and Piazza del Signoria. I hope it's a bit helpful.

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  • leics's Profile Photo

    Re: Hidden wonders of Florence

    by leics Online Now Mar 2, 2013 at 1:42 AM

    I don't think anywhere in central historical Florence can be considered 'hidden', to be absolutely honest: the city is thronged with visitors year-round. But some of my less-visited favourites are here:

    Florence Off The Beaten Path Tips by leics

    Exploring Oltrano, Mercato San'Ambrosio, San Miniato al Monte, seeking out the tiny architectural details so often overlooked, the Trattoria Il Contadino:

    Trattoria Il Contadino: "A bit of a 'find'..." - Florence Restaurant Tip by leics

    The excellent Trattoria Za Za has, since I first visited, been 'discovered'...but is still excellent:

    Za'Za: "Somewhere which seems to have been 'discovered'..." - Florence Restaurant Tip by leics

    Whilst you are waiting for more input from VT-ers have a look at the 'off-the-beaten-path' tips written by VT locals and visitors here:

    Florence Off The Beaten Path

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  • foreverstoked's Profile Photo

    Re: Hidden wonders of Florence

    by foreverstoked Online Now Mar 2, 2013 at 2:06 AM

    Try Vivoli Gelateria for one of the best places for gelato. For very good tuscan food, Ristorante Trattoria Cibreo, or Ristorante Lo Scudo. When in Florence you must try the Florentine steak, very delicous. Trattoria da Giorgio or Trattoria Il Contadino, great if you want to eat like the locals. For the best 4 euro meal try All'Antico Vinaio. As for street food go for "Lampredottaio" Ask with the lamprey, with green and hot sauce. Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore is a breathtaking place with beautiful views. Palazzo Davanzati, a cool museum (and palace from the middle ages) entrance is under 5 euro. If you go on the other side of the river from the main sites go to the Piazzale Michelangiolo to see the skyline of Florence, very beautiful! While on the opposite side of the river also check out Chiesa di Santa Felicita, little church with frescoes by Pontormo. Restaurants to check out on that side of the river are MunacielloGustapaninoGusta PizzaCabiria(bar), & Dolce Vita (bar).

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  • leics's Profile Photo

    Re: Hidden wonders of Florence

    by leics Online Now Mar 2, 2013 at 2:13 AM

    A second vote for Vivoli. Its gelato really is excellent (my favourite flavour is 'Fantasia'). It is by no means 'hidden' (it's long been in the Rough Guide) but it's not especially easy to find! :-)

    Vivoli: "Still the best ice-cream in Florence" - Florence Restaurant Tip by leics

    And if you do go up to P Michaelangelo for the views (green Fiesole also has lovely views of the city) do visit San Miniato al Monte (just a little further up the hill behind the piazza) . Try to get there for 5pm and you'll hear the monks sing plainsong around the saint's shrine, as they have done on the same spot for over 1000 years.

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  • cgf's Profile Photo

    Re: Hidden wonders of Florence

    by cgf Online Now Mar 2, 2013 at 4:30 AM

    alexasanford wrote: perhaps hidden places in the city? Cafes, restaurants (not expensive), shops, markets, street corners etc.

    in Florence I would suggest Pallottino, still there since 100 years ago, good and generous plates and not expensive at all - for lunch they have (had) a fix price of 12€ - anyway it's a restaurant (trattoria) where you go for eating not for staying there hours, there's always a lot of people and they need to use same table more times http://www.trattoriapallottino.com/

    for shopping there are few outlets close to florence."

    did I read what about 'gelato'?? there's one Grom in Florence, anyway I prefer others imo the starter spirit of Grom has been lost. next to Palazzo vecchio there is Gelateria De' Neri; Latteria Zurli there since 1921.... in viale giannotti where the COOP is, there's is Gelateria Il Sorriso, to find it just follow the line you surely see

    btw in Scandicci, where there's Gucci, there's a very very good gelateria, but I don't remember the name and I haven't written anywhere.

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  • lynnehamman's Profile Photo

    Re: Hidden wonders of Florence

    by lynnehamman Online Now Mar 2, 2013 at 5:54 AM

    Go to Piazza Michelangelo. set high on a hill overlooking Florence. It has, without a doubt, the best views of the city. Sunset is magnificent, and there is a bar/restuarant where you could have a reasonably price meal and drinks.
    There are buses going there ( #12 or 13#) from the station., if you don't feel up to the uphill hike.

    Shopping is cheap around the markets, but avoid the shops on the bridges, They are expensive.
    For a special meal- we loved the Rivoire Restuarant in front of the Duomo.

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  • RoscoeGregg's Profile Photo

    Re: Hidden wonders of Florence

    by RoscoeGregg Online Now Mar 2, 2013 at 8:18 AM

    Just a few things to add.  A few days in Florence will fly by and you will have no trouble filling the days. I agree with the Piazza San Michaelangelo. If you like to walk It is a very nice climb up to the Piazza. Sunset and romance, well worth the effort.

    A couple of specifics for me.

    • The Duomo Museum very nice and rarely busy.
    • Cippolla Rosa A cozy nice resturant just behind San Lorenzo Church
    • Il Cantuccio: Localy owned and opperated biscotti shop. The owner is friendly and the biscotti are AWSOME!

    Have a great time! Post some pictures when you get home.

    Randy

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  • loksch's Profile Photo

    Re: Hidden wonders of Florence

    by loksch Online Now Mar 2, 2013 at 9:27 AM

    Del Fagioli...best restaurant...not fancy...family-owned for decades
    San Lorenzo Market and mini=Market on the way....cross Ponte Vecchio away from Oltrarno - two blocks to mini-market, on same street - 2 kms to San Lorenzo...it's huge!!
    When at mini...cross street - walk one block - turn left to Piazza. See copy of David and various architecture. The main duomo should be visible from this piazza...follow your nose.
    Need a hotel...ain't cheap...but one of the best ...Hotel David...Vialle Michelangelo 1...two bridges East of Ponte Vecchio.
    Enjoy !!!

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  • QuigleyM's Profile Photo

    Re: Hidden wonders of Florence

    by QuigleyM Online Now Mar 4, 2013 at 3:39 AM

    A lot of the places mentioned are great, but not off-the-beaten path at all. Not that much in Florence is. I'd second Piazzale Michelangelo and the Duomo Museum. Head to the Santo Spirito neighborhood on the other side of the Arno for some great restaurants, bars, and artisans creating beautiful pieces. Take Via del Corso away from Piazza della Repubblica and keep walking. You'll pass a great antiques market, Sant' Ambrogio church, the Sant' Ambrogio Market, and will eventually make it to Piazza Beccaria, where lots of locals live.

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  • QuigleyM's Profile Photo

    Re: Hidden wonders of Florence

    by QuigleyM Online Now Mar 4, 2013 at 3:42 AM

    Sorry, I also meant to link to this article, which you might find helpful: prontohotel.com/ita/florence...

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  • codyruffini1231's Profile Photo

    Re: Hidden wonders of Florence

    by codyruffini1231 Online Now Mar 13, 2013 at 11:31 AM

    Osteria Santo Spirito---a gem, Osteria Cantinone, hike up the Piazza Michaelangelo--great restaurants on the way. For an apperetivo go to Volume in Piazza Santo Spirito. For a romantic dinner go to Il Santo Bevitorre

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